As I’ve mentioned in my last article, the dismal performance of the Philippines in elite competitions such as the SEA Games, Asian Games and the Olympics reflects the sad state of Philippine sports. The pitiful output happened despite the huge amount of public funds poured into sports development. A staggering P4 billion subsidy flowed from the government to the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) and the different national sports associations (NSAs) from 2005 to 2015.
If we have to measure the cost effectiveness of our sports program in terms of gold medals won for the country from 1990 to 2016, one gold medal would cost about P7 million. How could we tolerate this kind of sports program?
Again, the answer is rampant corruption.
Four factors lead to rampant in corruption in PH sports:
1 Violation of RA 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act),
2 Unliquidated funds released to the POC and the different NSAs
3 Dereliction of duty and failure to discharge official function and authority
4 Abuse of power and authority of officials of the POC and the different NSAs
The first two involves the use of government or public funds, whereas, the last two involve the exercise of power, authority and official function.
Let me cite some examples.
A good example for No.1 is the pending criminal case filed in 2011 with the Office of the Ombudsman, which indicted swimming NSA head, Mark Joseph, the POC and former PAGCOR Chairman Efraim Genuino.
Though a warrant of arrest was already issued against Joseph, he is elusive and yet to be arrested.
Despite cases filed against him, Joseph is still meddling with the affairs of the NSA for swimming.
I am citing unliquidated funds released to the POC, which according to the Commission on Audit amount to P27,224,245.24. These were expenditures that were either incurred without approval of PHILSOC officials or not supported with receipts/documents as proof of expenditures.
The persons liable for the above infractions are Jose S. Cojuangco Jr., Stephen C. Hontiveros, Jose Capistrano Jr. and Ernesto R. Ortiz Luis.
During a TV interview, Cojuangco, when asked about the aforementioned unliquidated cash advances said that it was declared clear by the audit of SyCip, Gorres and Velayo firm. A vague answer that gave rise to more questions.
On dereliction of duty, administrative cases for violation of RA 6713 known as the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees were already filed in the Office of Ombudsman since 2014 against erring PSC sports official.
The cases still await preliminary investigation.
Lastly, abuse of power and authority is evident in the existing policies of the NSA for swimming among them is, if you are not a member then you can’t compete in international competitions regardless if you’re highly qualified.
The culture of “palakasan,” patronage and politics is very much evident in Philippine sports.
Hindi po ba tayo nagtataka kung bakit nasa POC pa rin si Mr. Peping Cojuangco hanggang ngayon after 12 long years? Nakita na po natin na hindi maganda ang performance ng Pilipinas sa international competitions at ang pondo ng bayan ang nasasayang. And yet, it appears that the POC and the NSA’s have acted with complete impunity by saying that they should be free from government intervention.
However, upholding the constitution and adherence to laws of the Republic Philippines is the duty of every Filipino citizens.
The POC and the NSA’s are not above the law.
(to be continued)